joristommy-1280Those with long memories may remember our meeting on Brazil’s Costa Verde with delightful Swiss couple Christoph and Sonja, less than 300km into our journey. At the time, we knew that most cicloturistas in South America tend to stick to the west coast, hewing close to the Pan-American Highway. Even so, we assumed that it wouldn’t be long before we ran into some other tourers on the road.

So much for assumptions. It turns out that our route so far – south from Rio de Janeiro through Brazil and Uruguay, then west from Buenos Aires across Argentina – is very much the road less travelled for touring cyclists, and we’ve gone the entire time without meeting any others. However, having joined the popular Ruta 40, we figured we must be due another random road encounter. And so it proved: on Monday, five months (to the day) and more than 5,400km after meeting Christoph and Sonja, we finally crossed paths with some other two-wheeled travellers.

The folks pictured at the top of this post are Joris (left) and Tommy, a pair of Frenchmen who’ve been riding together for a few days. Joris started in La Paz, Bolivia, and will be flying home from Santiago in March. Tommy, meanwhile, is 18 months and an awe-inspiring 32,000km into a highly circuitous ride from Alaska to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in Argentina. We collided yesterday on the beautiful Cuesta de Miranda, us on the way down towards Nonogasta and them on the way up to the 2,050m mountain pass. Bonne route!

(Note: since this post, we’ve gathered together all our encounters with fellow touring cyclists into a separate section of our website. You can find it by clicking here.)

from Chilecito, LR, Argentina